The Leader Development and Assessment Course, also known as Operation Warrior Forge,
is held annually at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The U.S. Army's largest
training exercise, LDAC is the U.S. Army Cadet Command's capstone training event.
The purpose of the course is to train U.S. Army ROTC Cadets to Army standards, to
develop their leadership skills, and to evaluate their officer potential. Most Army
Cadets attend LDAC between their junior and senior undergraduate years after having
contracted to join the Army. Successful completion of LDAC is a prerequisite to becoming
an Army officer through ROTC.
The 29-day course starts with individual training and leads to collective training,
building from simple to complex tasks. This building-block approach permits integration
of previously-learned skills into follow-on training. This logical, common-sense training
sequence is maintained for each training cycle. Every day at LDAC is a day of training.
Below are some highlights:
Land Navigation training must be mastered early in the training cycle for the Cadets
to be fully successful in the tactical training which follows. The Land Navigation
evaluation consists of three events totaling 100 points. The written examination is
worth 20 percent. The day Land Navigation test is worth 50 percent. The night Land
Navigation test is worth 30 percent. Each cadet must earn 70 percent on each test
to pass this event. A passing score in Land Navigation is a criterion for success.
Prior to Land Navigation, cadets will learn field craft while living and sleeping
in the woods. They will set up field-expedient shelters using ponchos and whatever
else is available. They'll learn how to maintain noise, light and litter discipline.
This includes rappel training, the Slide For Life, Log Walk/Rope Drop, and confidence
and obstacle courses. Confidence Training is designed to challenge the cadets' physical
courage, build confidence in personal abilities, and help them overcome fear. At the
rappelling site, each cadet executes one 17-foot rappel and several 37-foot rappels.
Cadets demonstrate confidence in their ability to overcome fear of heights by executing
the Confidence/Obstacle Course, Log Walk/Rope Drop and Slide For Life.
Field Leader's Reaction Course
FLRC is designed to develop and evaluate leadership, and to build teamwork early in
the training cycle. Course administration is accomplished using the established cadet
organization and chain of command. Cadet leadership potential is assessed by committee
evaluators. Cadets are provided the opportunity to get early feedback on their leadership
strengths, weaknesses, styles and techniques.
Chemical, Biological Radiological, Nuclear, Explosive Training teaches Cadets how
to administer a nerve agent antidote, how to protect themselves from chemical and
biological contamination using their assigned protective mask, decontaminate themselves
and individual equipment using chemical decontaminating kits and how to react to chemical
or biological hazard/attack. In addition, Cadets must go through the CS gas chamber
and the COBALT Challenge Lane.
U.S. Weapons Familiarization
Familiarizes cadets with the operation and employment of infantry squad weapons and
call for fire grid missions. The Cadets train in the fundamentals of operation and
engaging of targets and emplacement of crew-served weapons such as the M-249, M203,
Teaches cadets a basic understanding of cultural matters and how cultural awareness
will facilitate mission success. Cadets learn how to conduct bi-lateral discussions
with local officials, how to conduct a knock and search mission and how to defuse
volatile situations using an interpreter.
Cadets develop confidence in their ability to react properly to battlefield wounds.
Through hands-on training and evaluation, cadets learn critical first aid skills.
In the first block of instruction in maneuver at LDAC, cadets learn individual battlefield
skills, combat movement techniques and procedures necessary for subsequent tactical
training at the squad level. Maneuver training is a vehicle to teach and evaluate
leadership. It introduces conditions of stress that parallel those found in combat.
Tactical training introduces new skills, provides performance-oriented reinforcement
opportunities and increases the degree of difficulty and sophistication of training
events. Cadets learn the skills necessary to function in a Tactical Training Area
This building-block approach provides the best opportunity for cadets to learn and
for cadre to assess leadership potential.
This year Squad Situational Training and Patrolling Situational Training Exercises
have been combined under the tactics committee. They take place back-to-back while
cadets are at the Tactical Training Base.
Tactical Training Base: Cadets operate for five days out of a hard site facility between
Maneuver Training and Patrolling. They learn how to provide security by guarding gates
and doing squad-level reconnaissance around the TTB, how to conduct TTB operations,
and how they have to prepare for Patrolling.
Squad Situational Training Exercise: Squad STX is a four-day, two-phase event. The
first day, the squad training phase, is designed to train squad battle drills and
collective tasks. The last three days, the Squad STX lane phase, are designed to evaluate
leadership using tactical scenarios. Each cadet receives two formal evaluations of
his/her performance as a squad leader during this phase. Squad operations build on
and reinforce all previous instruction. Cadets use knowledge of land navigation, terrain
analysis, weapons systems and all individual training previously presented.
Patrolling Situational Training Exercise: Patrolling STX is a two-day event that provides
cadets practical experience in leading Soldiers at the section level in a challenging,
realistic and fluid environment. On the first day, cadets undergo training and then
during the last three days they participate in an exercise where they are formally
evaluated. Developmental feedback is provided to all levels of leadership. Patrolling
STX builds on and reinforces all previous instruction received during the course.
The event ends with a 10K foot march.